Editorials

Pedestrian safety now a city health issue

In one recent study by Healthy North Texas, Parker County was the most dangerous county in the region for pedestrians.
In one recent study by Healthy North Texas, Parker County was the most dangerous county in the region for pedestrians. Star-Telegram

Texans are walking more, whether for exercise or transportation.

But drivers are paying less attention, whether intoxicated or distracted by navigation or texts.

That’s a dangerous combination, and it’s the reason the pedestrian injury toll has started to climb again.

In one recent study by Healthy North Texas, Parker County was the most dangerous county in the region for pedestrians. North Texas ranks among the nation’s worst regions.

That has to change if Fort Worth and North Texas are to be successful at promoting urban living and healthy lifestyles.

The U.S. Surgeon General has gone even further, telling cities to encourage more walking for the sake of civic health.

But cities need help designing better pedestrian safety, and that’s where health and transportation researchers are now collaborating.

The Texas A&M School of Public Health is studying how to design healthier, walkable neighborhoods, the Texas Tribune reports. New ads will discourage texting while walking, and remind pedestrians to walk only on the left, facing traffic.

As Fort Worth and Arlington become more walkable cities, it’s important for both motorists and pedestrians to pay more attention.

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